Last week I got punched in the face for the first time.
It wasn’t technically the first blow to the face I’ve ever taken, but it was the first time someone’s swung at me in anger, got me square above the eye and made blood piss down my face.
It was also the first time I’ve ever punched someone in the face, perhaps not in as much anger, but by the looks of him a lot harder than he hit me.
Last Wednesday after work, my boyfriend and I were meeting his mum and sister for dinner in Darlinghurst at 7.30pm. I was meant to be going to a meeting with the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, but I decided to take it easy that night due to a wisdom tooth infection I’d been battling all day.
Walking from the station through the Cross to get a bottle of wine from my boyfriend’s place, my stomach rumbled crying out for Maccers. With dinner a solid hour away I gave into golden temptation and decreed a $2 double cheeseburger and small Fanta would appease its cries.
However, while we ordered, there was a young guy about 26 or 27, stood at the closed till to my left and talking at the staff loud enough for everyone to hear.“You’re not doing anything! You’re not doing anything! If she’s on a break then she shouldn’t be behind there!” he barked, pointing at each of the staff in turn.
“You’re what’s wrong with the fucking economy in this country!”
“If you want to start a fist fight, this is what happens.”
The manager, used to this kind of behaviour, simply ignored the barrage and carried on salting the fries he had in his hands. Clearly busy “not doing anything.”
“That’s right, salt your fries, salt your fucking fries!”
Shocked and appalled at being ignored, the guy moved to the back of the line. From what I could gather from his continued rambling, it seemed he had grown tired of queuing and in his infinite wisdom concluded a lecture on workplace efficiency was just what the situation needed.
Whether or not it was my empty belly, my long day at the office or maybe the throbbing pain in my right jaw, I couldn’t help but give him an unashamedly disgusted look.
“Have I offended you?” he said, sarcasm dripping from his mouth.
“Yes,” I said. “You’re being a douchebag.”
Now I know that wasn’t perhaps the best choice of word, I will happily accept that. But sometimes in this city, in any city, douchebags have got to be told.
Unsurprisingly unhappy with me publically calling out his obvious character flaw, he stepped towards me, and although a few inches shorter, looked me straight in the eyes and said:
“If you weren’t wearing glasses, I’d smash your fucking face in.”
I, not one for showing weakness when confronted with the terrors of dickheadery, took a step closer to him, noticed the pair of cheap white sunglasses on his forehead and said:
“Fucking likewise, mate.”
At this point he backed off a little and started ranting about how he used to work in “the industry” and knew how the whole “process worked.” After listening to his crap, I simply remarked that he should know that these people, motioning towards the staff, deserve to be treated with respect.
He said nothing. So believing that was that, I turned around and waited for my food, all the while my boyfriend shooting me the “why the hell did you say that for??” death stare.
It was only after my order had arrived and we walked past him to leave, purposefully avoiding his gaze, did he attack. From behind, striking me in the left temple and ripping my glasses from my face.